Though the Tigers will have a new quarterback — freshman Bo Nix and redshirt freshman Joey Gatewood are vying for the starting spot — Auburn returns an experienced offensive line as well as running backs JaTarvious Whitlow and Kam Martin and receivers Seth Williams and Anthony Schwartz. "You look around college football the last few years and there's been some very successful freshman quarterbacks. And if you really look, their teams have been really good around them. So, really that is one of our challenges and one of our goals, not just defensively, but offensively at every position we need to be really good around whoever is going to be our starting quarterback. And that will help them grow and learn and get experience," Malzahn said. Auburn, which has one of the most difficult schedules in the country, will find out where it stands right away this season. After a game against Oregon in Arlington, Texas in the opener, the Tigers play at Texas A&M in Week 4 and at Florida in Week 6. "Our schedule once again is one of the toughest in college football. It's not a shock to our system. I really believe we're used to it. We really look at it as a great opportunity for us. Really, that's our approach," he added. Malzahn feels this year's team has the opportunity for a special season. "This is my 10th year at Auburn (three were as offensive coordinator). During that time, we played for two national championships. We won one. We played for three SEC championships. We won two. And when I look at the team that we have this year, there's some of the characteristics those teams had, and that's exciting for me," Malzahn said. "Now you've got to win close games. You've got to make plays when the games are on (the line). You've got to stay healthy. I can tell you today, the exciting thing for me — I tell my team — we've got a chance. Really exciting times, as far as that goes, and looking forward to coaching this team this year."